13 posts tagged with "mediamachine"

View All Tags

FFmpeg: The good parts (part 1)

FFMpeg the good parts

Every company doing any kind of video processing uses FFmpeg.

FFmpeg is so powerful that it can be used on production pipelines (we're using it!), but also can be used on your personal notebook if you want to do any kind of video processing.

The problem is that FFmpeg is SO big that people are often overwhelmed by its documentation and end up using another alternative or even getting a GUI to run on top of FFmpeg.

The idea of this article is to show you how easy it is to use FFmpeg on your computer and what kind of operations you can do.

Billing shouldn't be a nightmare for your customers

Protect your customers with billing limits!#

We often come across threads on twitter and elsewhere talking about how cloud billing is broken. There is no technical reason why SaaS/IaaS/PaaS/Your-favorite-as-a-service providers can't setup graceful service limits.

Recently, we came across this twitter thread:

Imagine being that student. You are thrilled about that idea you thought of during class, dreaming up clever ways

The 8 Most Important Production Metrics for REST APIs

While MediaMachine is a new product, we’ve been writing http-based apis ( usually RESTish, with json ), for a looooooooooooong time and thought it would be worthwhile to talk through and explain some of our most basic production metrics. Hopefully this can help others who are new to API monitoring and want to get better visibility into what’s happening.

The MediaMachine Runbook for Traefik

MediaMachine.io is an IaaS platform for user-generated video content and we use Traefik as the reverse proxy in our network layer.

In a previous post, we talked about how Traefik fits into our infrastructure and helps us serve requests with ease. This runbook is an extension to that - an overview of things we found important to highlight for someone looking to know more about running Traefik themselves including useful configuration snippets.

The MediaMachine Traefik Runbook#

Here is our runbook for getting setup with Traefik in your environment:

How MediaMachine uses Traefik for easy-to-maintain request routing

traefik proxy network diagram

MediaMachine.io is an IaaS platform for user-generated video content and we use Traefik as the reverse proxy in our network layer. This blog details how we leverage Traefik to run a highly-available infrastructure that is also easy for us to maintain.

So, what is Traefik?#

traefik proxy network diagram

Traefik is a popular, open-source reverse proxy implementation in Go. It is actively maintained by Traefik Labs (they used to be called Containous). Traefik allows you to expose network resources to the internet (or even other networks), manage routing based on hostnames, url paths etc.

You can use Traefik to redirect HTTP traffic to another, private IP address, to provide HTTPS access for your customers or to provide a reverse proxy to web servers sitting in your internal VPC. This is especially useful if you run you infrastructure on a public cloud, such as AWS.

What problems does it solves for us?#

Let’s see how Traefik fits into a modern network plane.

Captivate your audience with intelligent video summaries

For a video content platform, one of the goals is to increase the views and clickthroughs but we shouldn't leave value behind. Your users' time is valuable. People appreciate introductory summaries of long-form articles (or a Tl;dr), and it'd be great to give your users the option to preview a video before watching it. Thumbnails and video summaries are a great way to showcase content on both mobile as well as web platforms.

Thumbnails are a good start for giving your users a preview quickly without downloading entire videos. But we hope you aren't shooting in the dark and throwing the first frame of your video on there (which could be irrelevant or blank at worst). That's not the best way to invite users to engage with your platform! If you'd like to give your users a much nicer experience, you should checkout how MediaMachine extracts the best looking thumbnails from videos.

Graduating beyond static thumbnails, video summaries are extremely effective at increasing user engagement. Video summaries can also help make your apps feel snappier by only downloading a smaller summary of the video instead of the larger video.

Million dollar video summaries#

There is a reason why some movie trailers cost millions of dollars! They give viewers a glimpse into what to expect - a sneak peak that drums up excitement and lets directors create a scaffolding to elevate their story telling.

Similarly, video summaries provide your users information about the content of large videos in a short amount of time. This signal helps your them evaluate if the video content they are about to engage with is interesting or not.

For example, if your user is about to watch a documentary,

Tutorial: Tailscale on AWS with Terraform

video transcoding in 2021

Tailscale for internal VPN#

At MediaMachine.io we use Tailscale for sharing both our internal development environment as well as the internal tooling network layer. For example, we run Nomad and expose the UI on our internal network. Tailscale makes it super easy to isolate our internal resources from our external facing network. We also use tailscale to quickly share our locally running dev servers which is especially useful for our remote team setup.

Use Terraform to manage your Tailscale nodes#

Running bespoke, hand-crafted infrastructure is not the same as hand-made furniture from your local artists. Infrastructure-as-code has a lot of benefits:

The art and science of a great video thumbnail

Your Thumbnails Are Bad And You Should Feel Bad#

If you've got user-generated videos on your site that you want users to engage with, you need them to make a good first impression.

Great thumbnails are the key to that, but you've got to do better than just giving the viewer an idea of the content because a great/engaging thumbnail can surprisingly increase user engagement by almost 2x.

Too many sites are extracting thumbnails with one of these methodologies from the Hall of Lame:

  • Select a frame from the first few seconds.
  • Pick a random frame from the video.

These thumbnails are for a video about being stuck in traffic. Which one would you click?#

So how do we do better?#

What is video transcoding? (Insights for 2021)

video transcoding in 2021

Over the last year or so, a large chunk of the global population has been forced to stay at home and social interactions are happening over the internet. Most of it is via video content - with streaming video filling more than 50% of combined internet usage according to a recent report by Sandvine and up to 29.6% increase between February and March 2020 as seen by Fastly CDN.

Take a look into what the state-of-the-art in video transcoding is trending towards:

  • What is video transcoding?
  • How does video transcoding fit into developing a user-friendly content pipeline?
  • Current leading video formats.
  • New video encoding formats to look forward to: H.266 and AV1.

FFmpeg Series: complex filters to trim and concat files

FFmpeg is a great tool and we can't emphasize enough how important it is in the modern video processing stack. As John Carmack himself said:

We are very grateful to all the contributors of FFmpeg and wanted to share some of the ffmpeg tips-and-tricks we use with MediaMachine so we're kicking off this series hoping it will be helpful to people just starting with FFmpeg.

Ready for an interesting bite-sized ffmpeg trick?

Introducing Video Transcoding

Should I MP4 or WebM?

Intelligently extract beautiful Thumbnails from your videos

Videos are one of the fastest growing categories of user generated content, with upwards of 85% of internet users in the United States streaming online videos every week!

MediaMachine simplifies the process of encoding your video assets into different formats. If you're running a platform that serves videos to users, and not supporting multiple formats and resolutions, you are missing out. For example, YouTube makes their videos available in more than 5 resolutions and formats.

Let MediaMachine focus on handling your video transcoding needs while you focus on your business.

Show me the API docs already!

Introducing Intelligent Video Thumbnails

Intelligently extract beautiful Thumbnails from your videos

A case for an intelligent Thumbnailing service#

Thumbnails are like book covers for videos. Studies [1, 2] suggest thumbnails play an important role in determining whether to watch a video or skip to another. A high quality thumbnail can boost your video views and engagement. Thumbnails give your users quick visual feedback on the content and resolution quality of a video. These split-second impressions are sometimes used exclusively as a proxy for textual search where your users won’t even read the titles or text summaries of the video on your platforms.

Introducing MediaMachine

We are excited to announce MediaMachine - A suite of video manipulation APIs to help you showcase content in the best light.

With MediaMachine, you can Transcode videos into multiple web-ready formats as well as resolutions, create Intelligent Thumbnails and Intelligent Video Previews (And yes, those can be GIFs too!).